Questions tagged [sensation]

Sensation is dealing with the processing of the senses, including the traditional senses vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch, but also sense experiences such as vestibular and pain. It typically involves the higher-level cortical brain areas associated with the conscious experience of physical stimuli.

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Why are eyes more sensitive to flicker in periphery — contradictory answers

In terms of the perception of flickering by CRT monitors, This answer suggests that peripheral vision has faster response and is thus more sensitive to flicker due to being provided by rod cells. ...
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Book request: biology of sensation and perception

I’m interested in learning about the biological and chemical basis of human sensation and perception (on both a microscopic and macroscopic level). This includes The mechanisms underlying our “five ...
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214 views

Multiple numbers in the Ishihara test?

When I was in high school (30 years ago), I took a biology class, and the instructor showed us an Ishihara color test for color-blindness. (This is the "hidden numbers" test.) What I thought I saw ...
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How precisely can humans identify differences in air temperature?

"It feels like it's 30° today" I'm fascinated by how human perception compares to electromechanical sensors in terms of accuracy. "It feels like 23 minutes have passed since I put the cake in the ...
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197 views

Cold water sour taste

Recently I underwent a wisdom tooth extraction, and while there is still numbness I have observed something peculiar. If I drink cold water, it tastes sour, however the same effect is not observed ...
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134 views

Are there people blind to touch?

There are people who completely blind or deaf. Are there people who are completely blind to touch in a particular area or in the entirety of their body? If not, are there people in whom the ...
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Why do coliform bacteria smell so bad?

I have done multiple cultures of E. coli bacteria and related species over the course of my education. Almost every time, they had this revolting smell. However, other organisms used for genetics ...
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How precisely can we sense temperature differences?

We have thermoreceptors, thus we can sense temperature (both warm and cold). I'm interested in the sensitivity of our thermoreceptors - What is the smallest temperature difference that we can sense? ...
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Can a color-blind person see color with filter glasses?

Why does color vision improve in color-blind persons using these filter glasses from Enchroma? Will a color blind person be able to see the same colors on a television? I'm asking, because the colors ...
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How do ants sense imminent rainfall?

I have always been told to watch to see if ant-hole mounds are built up as a sign of imminent rainfall. My questions are, if what I have always been told is true, then by what mechanism do ants '...
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Why does black and yellow indicate danger?

It is a well-known fact that combination of black and yellow indicates danger or poisonousness. In western society it seems obvious this comes from bees and wasps, but it seems like many tropical ...
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Why dogs move their noses when smelling?

I read on Wikipedia that: The wet nose, or rhinarium, is essential for determining the direction of the air current containing the smell. Cold receptors in the skin are sensitive to the cooling of ...
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Why/how does exposure to noise cause cochlear hair-cell loss?

I am trying to understand why listening to loud music - e.g. concerts or earphones at high volume damages hearing. According to the National Institute on Deafness the cause is physical. Most ...
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Are there gaps in what our ears can hear?

I know about the hair cells in our Cochlea and it is the movement of the fluid that makes them vibrate. And it is this that activates the transmission of electrical signals to the brain that become ...
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Understanding the “Waterfall Illusion”

Motion after-effect illusions, such as the waterfall illusion, refer to illusions where fixating a screen which shows stimuli moving in a particular direction elicits the perception of motion in the ...
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How are our senses dimmed during sleep?

Our senses are not as sensitive during sleep compared to wake. There is an arousal threshold during sleep that only when it is overcome will it wake a person up. My question is how is this arousal ...
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Why does my room suddenly look 'reddish'? My eyes seem to adapt to color

To get the context of this question clear, I would like you to walk through some parts of my house. We'll start with one of my rooms as it appears normally - As evident, this part of my house has a ...
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A speculative question about sensation

I know this is rather speculative and I am not a biologist, but I have womdered about this for a long time. I have always been able to pinpoint the central line of any part of my body exactly as if ...
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How do we feel sensations from a tooth surface that is made up of enamel?

If enamel does not have any sensory receptors, how do we feel the tactile sensations when we touch our teeth with an object/finger nail?
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Can we taste electrons?

Why does licking a 9-Volt battery elicits a taste sensation? Can taste be stimulated by electrical stimulation?
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How many “primary colors” can we smell? [duplicate]

There are many more that three visible wavelength in the visible EM spectrum, and yet we can model any color using only three primary RGB wavelength. Perception of an arbitrary color is equivalent of ...
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Can animals that rely heavily on sonar sense colour?

Apparently there're species around as rely heavily on sonar to sense the world around them. E.g. Bat, Dolphin, Whale ... The humans, and other terrestrial beings in a lighted world are capable of ...
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How can we usually “trust a fart” not to be liquid or solid?

Jack Nicholson's character Edward Cole in the movie The Bucket List said ...and never trust a fart, and a search for Al Roker leakage White House will clear up any doubts what that's all about. How ...
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How statistically significant was the “sweaty T-shirt” experiment?

An Overview of the Experiment. In 1995 there was an experiment that involves young people smelling T-shirts worn by another gender and rating their preference. The researchers found that people ...
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Why Do Nerve Signals Get Crossed?

First off, I don't know if this is a normal healthy thing to occur. There have been many times where I have an itch on say my arm and I scratch it, only to feel the scratching elsewhere on my body. I ...
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Are similar smells usually based on similar chemicals?

Building off of this question: Why does freshly cut grass smell like a watermelon?, is it usually the case that things that we perceive as having similar smells are, in fact, the same or a similar ...
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Pitch perception - why is the missing fundamental not directly detected in the cochlea?

I'm learning about pitch perception, and learned about the case of the missing fundamental. In the main image in that wikipedia page, it seems like the bottom graph, with the fundamental frequency ...
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How are sound waves amplified while traveling within the cochlea?

How are sound waves amplified while traveling from the basal membrane to apical membrane within the cochlea? Are they amplified by the movement of the stapes?
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Does the human ear adapt to noise levels?

I have noticed lately that if I go to sleep, when I have my radio running, it is on lowest volume, I still consider it kind of loud. In the morning, when being on the edge of waking up, I hear the ...
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Why is peripheral vision not bleached by daylight?

In daylight, rods are known to be bleached: we have to wait some time after going into darkness before scotopic vision becomes effective. But, as I understand, peripheral vision is also mostly due to ...
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Why do I smell flowers after sneezing? [closed]

Often when I sneeze, I smell flowers for a few seconds afterwards. I've done some searching on the internet, and apparently it's something that is at least not entirely uncommon, although the exact ...
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Can one see flickering of a light bulb at 50 Hz?

Yesterday I had a BBQ with some friends. The sun had already set and the only light source left (besides some ambient light from the world around) was a low energy light bulb. After a while I started ...
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What is the signal conversion from hair cells to cochlear nerve cells?

If I understood correctly, inner hair cells generates a graded potential (receptor potential), this potential maps the stereocilia deflection. On the other hand, the cochlear nerve cells transmit ...
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Why can humans feel electricity?

What evolutionary process has provided humans with the ability of feeling electric current? Besides lightning and electric eel, what natural hazards include electricity that poses a threat to humans?
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why do we tighten out muscles against cold?

When I'm in shower and I want to open the cold water on myself suddenly I make my muscles so tight before I open the water and that helps so much in being able to handle the shock. Why does tightening ...
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Is bad tasting food more likely to cause harm?

Taste is often referred to as subjective. For example certain foods taste bad to me, such as oranges, grapefruit, grapes, raisins, and sweet potatoes. However the wiki article on taste explains that ...
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What is an “Alternative Sensation”?

As far as I know, alternative sensation it's a sensation to distract people from the original stimuli, for example when you have to get an injection, the nurse will pinch you in the other arms so your ...
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Do animals exist which have good vision, but see only grayscale?

In computer vision the color information is often discarded, as most object recognition tasks seem to work just as well on the greyscale image (even better, because there is less unnecessary ...
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What is mold detection threshold in humans?

I managed to find primary taste detection thresholds, e.g. for sweetness it's 1 part in 200 of sucrose in solution. Recently I've noticed that I can detect mold smell/taste even if there are no signs ...
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Why can you not tickle yourself?

It's the age old question, why can't we tickle ourselves? If you rub your fingers along your skin, sure there's sensation but you don't break down into a laughing fit (at least I don't :P), if someone ...
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What is the direction of the processing of light by the (human) retina and how does it happen?

Quoting Textbook of Medical Physiology by Guyton and Hall, 2016, page 647, ...the functional components of the retina, which are arranged in layers from the outside to the inside as follows: (...
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Will a completely removed cat whisker grow back?

I just accidentally pulled out, while playing, my cat's whisker entirely, follicle and all. I feel terrible as I know she is a kitten and whiskers are rooted deep in a place rich in nerves. I'm ...
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Dogs bark at familiar person in Santa costume. Why? Don't dogs trust smell over vision?

Last night 10 humans and 2 dogs spent Christmas together. At some point, one human dissappears for a few minutes and comes back wearing a full Santa outfit. Upon respawning, the dogs start barking ...
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Why do I still see a bright light after looking directly at it?

When you look directly at a bright light, maybe accidentally when looking at the sun, the shape of the image may persistently be perceived even after you look away. Does this image persistence have ...
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Is the masking effect of sound related to action potentials or to mechanical aspects of hearing?

I am an applied mathematics / signal processing engineer who wants to learn more and I have a question that has been bugging me for some time. It is known in audio coding circles that human hearing is ...
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What percent of the population has some form of synesthesia?

Data I am trying to get my hands on: What types of synesthesia (e.g. Grapheme-color synesthesia, Chromesthesia, etc.) are most common across the population? What percent of population has that ...
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Are there organisms sensing conformations, which we humans can't sense directly? [closed]

Are there organisms which can sense the conformations, which we humans can't sense directly, i.e. without using any equipment? If there are organisms which can sense conformations ("the shape or ...
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Are resonances the reason receptors work?

From Visual phototransduction - Wikipedia: When struck by a photon, 11-cis retinal undergoes photoisomerization to all-trans retinal which changes the conformation of the opsin GPCR leading to ...
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How do our sensory organs work automatically without our conscious effort? [closed]

I wonder how our different sensory organs (e.g., eyes, nose, ears, etc.) work automatically without our conscious efforts or without our command. We don't have to tell our eyes how to see, our ears ...
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What's the frequency resolution of the human ear?

I was thinking about audio compression (namely mp3), that "filters" out sound that we would not likely hear. The MP3 lossy audio data compression algorithm takes advantage of a perceptual ...